Measure N – Why You Need to Vote
Tuesday, June 7 is the presidential primary election and it is shaping up to be one of the most exciting elections California history. For the first time in decades Californians’ votes could really count.
“It looks like there’s a greater than usual chance that we’ll matter,” said Jack Pitney, a political expert at Claremont McKenna College. That is why you need to cast your vote on June 7.
For those who live in Glendale, there is another initiative on the ballot you need to educate yourself and vote on. It’s called Measure N.
Measure N, the initiative to eliminate the Utility Users Tax, has been placed on the June 7 special election ballot. Currently residents of Glendale pay a Utility Users Tax (UUT) for water, gas and electricity service. The average monthly cost per Glendale resident for the UUT amounts to approximately $7, which is projected to generate $17.5 million in fiscal year 2015-16. The UUT is a general tax, meaning that UUT revenues are paid into the city’s general fund. General fund revenues are budgeted by the Glendale City Council annually for general city services.
This measure is on the ballot because a number of residents circulated a petition and obtained sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot under California elections law. Glendale’s UUT is a locally controlled annual revenue stream and has been in place since 1969. The UUT is the third largest revenue source for Glendale city services behind property tax and sales tax revenue. If the measure is approved, the general fund will no longer receive UUT revenues resulting in a loss of approximately $17,500,000 per year and the City Council will have to decide, as part of the budgeting process, whether alternative revenues are available or whether City services and programs will have to be reduced or eliminated.
Again, the UTT is the third largest source of revenue for Glendale City services. Eliminating $17.5 million in annual UUT funding could require deep cuts to all city services, including police, fire and 9-1-1 emergency response services that protect Glendale residents. More specifically, eliminating UUT funding could: increase 9-1-1 emergency response times due to a reduction in police officer, firefighter and paramedic staffing levels; eliminate 53 full-time sworn police officer positions; eliminate 37 firefighter positions; close the equivalent of two fire stations; eliminate the police department’s DNA crime lab; reduce the number of on-duty paramedics; eliminate specialized fire department emergency service personnel, including the emergency preparedness unit, the arson investigator, hazardous materials response team and the search and rescue team; eliminate youth anti-gang and anti-drug prevention programs; reduce pothole repair and maintenance of city streets, storm drains and other critical city facilities and infrastructure; close most libraries in Glendale and eliminate librarians and library staff. Measure N requires a simple majority approval of the voters to pass.
The bottom line: A “Yes” vote on Measure N will repeal the Utility Users Tax and cut city services funding. A “No” vote on Measure N will not repeal the Utility Users Tax and keep city services funding.
The Montrose chamber is endorsing a no vote on Measure N.
To find out more about ballot Measure N, go to Glendalevotes.org or Glendaleuut.org.
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Glendale votes on Tuesday, June 7 in a special election in conjunction with the presidential primary election.